New Supercapacitor Outperforms Structural Energy Storage Devices

An anti-freeze quasi-solid-state zinc-ion hybrid supercapacitor (ZIHSC) with applications in multifunctional energy storage has been developed accordingly to an article available as a pre-proof in Materials Today Physics.

New Supercapacitor Outperforms Structural Energy Storage Devices

Study: Multifunctional quasi-solid-state zinc‐ion hybrid supercapacitors beyond state-of-the-art structural energy storage. Image Credit: Yurchanka Siarhei/

The utilization of carbon nanofibers doped with Nitrogen leads to a viable enhancement of its mechanical and tensile properties.

Why There Has Been an Increase in Demand for Energy Storage?

Ever since the industrial revolution, society has been moving towards more efficient technologies. Owing to the rapid adoption and utilization of electric cars, portable gadgets, and wearable technology, there is a significant requirement for more economical energy storage systems.

There has been a push towards creating power storage substances that can also fulfill other functions as a method of achieving mass and volume reductions at the network level. A structural battery or supercapacitor (SC) is an example of a multipurpose material that can store energy and sustain weight at the same time.

What are Layered Supercapacitors?

Among the various types of energy storage systems, SCs with multi-layered (laminated) architecture have a high potential for use as superstructure power devices. While the stacking framework of SCs is essential for energy conservation, it may also be used to build structural properties that can withstand stress.

Compared to energy storage, the energy in SCs is predominantly stored by the creation of electrical double layers (EDL) at the electrode-electrolyte interface, with little ion transport into the electrodes. As a result, the localization of power storage to the junction is projected and causes significantly less internal pressure that compromises strength while charging and discharging the battery.

Need of Hybrid Multifunctional Materials

Efforts to design multifunctional composites invariably include compromises between capabilities, owing to each functionality's particular dependency on crystal structures. Electrode characteristics, particularly for structured SCs, are significantly reliant on the specific surface area (SSA) of the conductors. As a result, creating a multipurpose composite materials with a suitable balance of thermomechanical characteristics has remained a difficult task.

Use of Carbon Derivatives

Carbon-based nanoparticles, anodized nanostructures, and superconductors with good mechanical and electrolytic characteristics have recently been employed to make structural SCs.

Some materials utilized to solve the structural-electrochemical trade-off include graphene, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and carbon fibre-based conductors. The power density of such structured batteries and SCs remains considerably below the significance level required for meaningful use.

Zinc (Zn)-ion hybrid supercapacitors (ZIHSCs) have attracted great interest due to their favourable electrochemical behaviour such as outstanding flowrate specific capacity of 5855 mAh/cm3, specific gravity specialised capacity of 823 mAh/g, and low redox potential (0.76 V).

ZIHSCs are also cost-efficient and environmentally friendly. They are made from unidirectional nitrogen-doped highly porous carbon nanofibers (N-CNF) and activated highly porous carbon nanofibers (A-CNF).

A cathode substance with excellent mechanical and electrical qualities is also required to optimize the overall effectiveness of systemic ZIHSCs. 

Research Findings

A cost-effective technique for fabricating very strong, robust, and flexible ZIHSCs with remarkable electrolytic characteristics was developed by the research team.

The acquired power density was comparable to that of lithium-ion batteries, and the dynamic qualities were among the toughest, sturdiest, and hardest of current energy storage configurations.

Hot-drawing of the precursor was demonstrated to be an effective approach for improving high specific surface area orientation and producing unitary CNF mats.

Mechanical qualities might be controlled with the least amount of compromise between stress yielding and energy storage capacities.

The as-prepared structural ZIHSCs had a battery-level specific gravity energy density of 113.1 Wh/kg and an excellent areal power density of 300.0 Wh/cm2, which is nearly double that of the most structurally efficient SCs.

Superior electrochemical characteristics in freezing circumstances were attained by using a freeze-resistant electrolyte. After 7500 cycles, the ZIHSCs with an N-CNF cathode demonstrated excellent specialized and spatial energy densities as well as good cycling life.

This study represents an industrial technique for fabricating a fresh era of systemic power storage devices with extraordinarily high gravimetric and area energy content and attractive tensile qualities.


A. Amiri, L. Vaught, M. Naraghi, A.A. Polycarpou, (2022) Multifunctional quasi-solid-state zinc‐ion hybrid supercapacitors beyond state-of-the-art structural energy storage. Materials Today Physics. Available at:

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Ibtisam Abbasi

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Ibtisam Abbasi

Ibtisam graduated from the Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. During his academic career, he has worked on several research projects and has successfully managed several co-curricular events such as the International World Space Week and the International Conference on Aerospace Engineering. Having won an English prose competition during his undergraduate degree, Ibtisam has always been keenly interested in research, writing, and editing. Soon after his graduation, he joined AzoNetwork as a freelancer to sharpen his skills. Ibtisam loves to travel, especially visiting the countryside. He has always been a sports fan and loves to watch tennis, soccer, and cricket. Born in Pakistan, Ibtisam one day hopes to travel all over the world.


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